Cancel Culture: How the World’s Breaking Apart
As every year passes, cancel culture and hysterical online outrage gets worse.
Powered by echo chambers online, people are becoming more and more entrenched in media spun narratives that reaffirm personal bias and overlook the complexity of reality.
Well, to put in simply it’s because it’s easy to keep audiences watching and consuming if they’re emotionally engaged in oversimplified battles of good versus evil.
Further still, getting someone emotionally engaged means they build a sense of identity around a given issue, next they start seeing themselves as morally superior to their opposition.
However, engaging in outrage isn’t just about seeming morally superior, the outrage is also powered by the anger that stems from the innate fear of facing complexity and chaos.
Acknowledging that life is chaotic and unpredictable, and that good people can do bad things, while people you don’t like can do good things, requires a resolute open-mindedness and a commitment to the truth that’s hard to endure with.
After all, dealing with complexity is unsettling and breeds insecurity.
How Cancel Culture Started
Just as the conspiracy theorist builds all manner of postulations to explain how the world really works, so too does modern man build narratives that explain their opponents motivations and the true nature of the world.
What both of these share is that what they really seek deep down is a sense of control.
It’s only human to crave a sense of order in a chaotic universe, and with it, a sense that we understand reality, while they do not.
In essence, this is a technique of the ego to find security in an unsettling and confusing world.
Now this doesn’t mean to say that conspiracy theories or ideologies are always wrong, naturally they carry grains of truth, and sometimes even outright truths.
What matters is that we are increasingly using our theories and presuppositions to explain reality before actually looking carefully into the truth of a situation.
But why are we doing this?
How have we lost faith in the objective analysis of truth along with the ability to endure complexity and instead seek comfort in the oversimplified cocoon of ideologies and media narratives?
Well, I believe the answer is in the breakdown of what I call ‘The Father’.
Rediscovering The Father
To understand what I’m getting at here, just think of the stereotypical ideal qualities an actual father provides his offspring as they grow up.
He offers guidance, strength and dependability, all while implementing a sense of discipline, personal responsibility and a model for which to follow.
Now think of a child growing up who doesn’t have that figure. Think of the innate insecurity and confusion that breeds in someone.
Well over the last few decades our culture has progressively lost faith in the father and what he represents.
Whether that is represented in the lack of fathers in the home and the attendant calls that fathers aren’t even really necessary, or its in the form of ‘Father Culture’ as encapsulated the present anger towards Western Culture itself, as we see it as almost uniquely bad, with little to no redeeming features.
Finally this is also represented in our complete rejection of what I call the Universal Father, that is the notion of an all-guiding spirit of life underpinning all, or what the Christian tradition may call ‘God the Father’.
Now when I say this I’m of course aware that the father, be it the literal, cultural of symbolic, has his own failings, fathers have abandoned their children, Western Culture does have to acknowledge its shortcoming and crimes, and the spiritual and religious traditions have perpetuated abuses of power and an ideological ignorance of clear scientific reality.
However, the point here isn’t that the father is perfect, but that the notion of The Father has a vital role to play at each level of abstraction in our lives, and if we don’t have that, we’re prone to insecurity and anger.
The exact sort of anger we see expressed in cancel culture today.
Fix Yourself First
It seems that so few people today have been taught that before you attempt to fix the problems of the world, you must first fix yourself, as if you cannot bring balance, order and love to a situation, you will only create more fear, more outrage and more violence.
So it’s on you as an individual to grow as a man, offering stillness, competence and peace in times of chaos,
It’s up to you to not depend on the drama of the world for your identity, but instead bringing the peace and wisdom that comes with your own abidance with truth and justice within.
The world needs competent, confident and awakened men, and if you’d like to learn more about the Recovering Man Path of Initiation, check it out here